OfficeMax Airs a New Message

OfficeMax launches a new tagline, “Max means more,” in radio spots from Publicis in Mid America that break this week.

The first pool of national radio work breaks Monday on the ABC network. The tag replaces, “You supply the ambition. We’ll supply everything else,” which the Chicago shop created in July 2000, shortly after winning the Cleveland office-supply chain’s $60 million business.

Barry Krause, Publicis chairman and CEO, said OfficeMax chose to use radio, online ads and newspaper inserts to introduce its new message because executives thought television was too cluttered with competitors. “Radio we found was an underused medium,” Krause said.

TV spots may be produced later in the year, but creative for those has yet to be finalized, he said.

The agency was sent back to the drawing board late last year after working on a TV campaign tagged “OfficeMax to the rescue.” The effort was scrapped after Sept. 11, sources said. Krause declined to discuss that campaign.

OfficeMax officials could not be reached for comment.

The 30-second radio spots are backed by Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and concentrates on the word “more,” said Joel Machak, senior vice president and creative director at the agency.

“Small business doesn’t mean small dreams,” a voiceover says in one spot. “It means more dreams, more courage, more confusion, more belief, and OfficeMax is there.”

Print shows a closeup of a businessman, with copy emphasizing the sometimes hectic life of a small-business owner. “Seven meetings before noon,” reads a bubble quote. Copy reads: “In a world of doing more and getting less, Max means more.”

OfficeMax continues to target small businesses in its ads, but while previous creative focused on price, the chain is now positioning itself as the store that offers better service and fewer hassles.

Publicis won the OfficeMax assignment in March 2000 after a review in which incumbent Campbell-Ewald Advertising, Warren, Mich., did not participate. The other finalist in the review was Doner in Southfield, Mich.

OfficeMax’s annual sales as of Feb. 7 totaled $5.2 million, behind Buhrmann, Staples and the largest office-supply chain, Office Depot, according to Hoover’s Online.

OfficeMax operates nearly 1,000 full-size superstores in 49 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.